Chipotle is in hot water following a nationwide E.coli outbreak that has left at least 72 people ill in nine states.
Popular casual burrito dining establishment Chipotle has been linked to an outbreak of E.Coli that has made over fifty people in nine different states ill. According to a report from NY Daily News, the outbreaks have shaken consumer and investor confidence as locations close their doors across the country.
Chipotle executives have come out and apologized for the outbreaks in various locations, and have outlined a plan to increase food safety throughout the company. Officials have still not said whether it is definitively safe to eat at Chipotle at this time.
According to William Marler, an attorney with Seattle food-safety law firm Marler Clark LLP, the Chipotle outbreak is unlike any other he has seen before, including the infamous 1993 Jack in the Box outbreak.
People have fallen ill in several states including California, Washington, and Massachusetts. Chipotle locations in Minnesota were linked to roughly 70 salmonella infections this fall, and more than 140 students at Boston College were diagnosed with norovirus after eating at Chipotle earlier this week. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s latest count, E.Coli had caused 52 confirmed illnesses.
There are about 1,900 Chipotle stores in the U.S., and so far 43 of them have closed for deep cleaning and strict inspections. Boston local health agencies have closed the location in Brighton, MA on BC’s campus.
Marler reported that some of his clients experienced symptoms such as severe vomiting and diarrhea. Certain clients were forced to miss months of work due to hospitalization, and the attorney is in the midst of multiple lawsuits against Chipotle.
The company’s stock plummeted 30 percent between August and December this year, but shares jumped back up after co-CEO and founder Steve Ells promised that the company’s efforts to address the outbreaks would make Chipotle one of the safest places in the world to eat.
According to Ells, “I’m sorry for the people who got sick. They are having a tough time and I feel terrible about that. We’re doing a lot to rectify this to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”
A press release from the CDC with specific details about the Chipotle outbreaks can be found here.